Sage Foundation in partnership with Hot91.9FM have awarded a R 450 000 grant to Melisizwe School Computer Lab Project, a non-profit organisation that seeks to establish computer labs at schools in underprivileged areas.

Sage Foundation is providing a R 450, 000 grant each quarter for the next year to a registered NPO in wider Johannesburg that helps youth in marginalised sectors better themselves in the fields of computer technology, software development, or education.

The Melisizwe School Computer Lab Project will work with the Department of Education to choose a deserving school where the R 450 000 grant will make a significant impact.  The organisation will revamp a classroom in the school and turn it into a secure, air-conditioned facility housing around 45 computers, desks, chairs, a smart-board, a projector and other facilities for children and their teachers. Around 1,000 leaners are expected to benefit from this investment.

“In the age of technology, over 70% of public schools in South Africa do not have functional computer labs and cannot teach Computer Applications Technology (CAT) as part of their curriculum,” says Candice Kern-Thomas of the Melisizwe School Computer Lab Project. “It means that all too many learners matriculate each year without the basic computer skills necessary to find employment or compete with more privileged peers at tertiary institutions. The Melisizwe Project aims to help learners in underprivileged areas benefit from their right to equal education.”

Says Joanne van der Walt, Sage Foundation Programme Manager for Africa: “When we launched this initiative, we said we were looking for NPOs that are enabling South Africa’s youth in underprivileged areas, equipping them with the necessary IT skills. As the first recipient of one of our quarterly grants, Melisizwe School Computer Lab Project is a perfect example of the sort of the organisation we’d like to help. A fully equipped computer lab will benefit learners for years to come.  he opportunities for our colleagues to volunteer, to host coding and robotics camps with the learners from the school, are endless”.

Sage Foundation and Hot 91.9 FM will be awarding further grants for the next three quarters to successful applicants. For an application to be considered, it must be:

  • from a registered charity in South Africa;
  • focused on programmes that support the youth in technology or education;
  • able to measure impact as a result of the donation; and
  • located in greater Johannesburg.


Says Lloyd Madurai, Managing Director and Founder of Hot 91.9 FM:

“Congratulations to The Melisizwe School Computer Lab Project who will choose a deserving school to benefit from this enormous contribution of R 450 000.  As a radio station, our vision is to continuously uplift and make a meaningful difference in our communities. To know that over 1000 learners will benefit from this donation, is what drives Hot 91.9FM on a daily basis, and reaffirms our belief in committed community service.”

Sage Foundation has been taking action to build sustainable social, economic and entrepreneurial opportunities in Sage’s local communities around the world. By investing and supporting non-profit partners that are helping people reach their true potential, and committed to doing business the right way.

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